Michael J. McDonagh

An established writer who recently went to work becoming an author, trying valiantly to make someone give a damn and chronicling the process.

Let’s call it an “About the Author” post

The funny thing is, for purposes of this post, I’m a writer not an author. I was about to get this blog caught up with a bunch of posts, and realized I should take a step back and catch you folks up a bit on why they’ve been slow (and why there will be a rush of new posts over the next couple of days).

I’ve been neglecting the hell out of this blog, but I haven’t been wholly useless on the blogging front. I’ve joined the ranks of the QueryTracker Blog team, and blog about the same kind of things there that I do here, except Patrick doesn’t want me saying “fuck” and shit like that, but I can totally do that. I mean, I’ve been an elementary school “Art Mom” for most of the past ten years, and it’s not like I say, “OK, now, get out your fucking crayons.” Anyway, the simple task of just cutting and pasting posts I’ve written about querying and writing from that blog to this one somehow eluded me. This is the last weekend before the summer begins in earnest, and I decided I need to spend twelve hours a day doing things like organizing my spice containers cleaning out my closets, power washing my porch, and catching up my blog.

This is shaping up to be the most wonderful summer ever, with plans to visit and be visited by good friends, a shitload of camping, gardening, and even some dedicated writing time figured in there. I completely scrapped my WIP and started the same project over again, literally opening a blank document and typing “Chapter One” a third of the way down a blank page. I’ve never done anything like that before, but I was several thousand words into the project before I realized what the story was really about. It was a case of “darlings” genocide, but there was no alternative. The story needs to start at a different point, be told in a different order, and any attempt to save or incorporate anything from the old one will make it look like some kind of Frankenstory, with mismatched parts sewn together.

I expected the process of walking away to be painful, and there were things I loved about the old structure (hence the darlings reference). It turned out to be liberating. It just felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and invigorated my writing process. That’s been a theme in my life this year, and the more I streamline and simplify my life, the happier it seems to get. I suspect that’s a lesson I’ll carry way beyond this year, too.

So that’s my first ever post about personal shit, and likely my last for a long, long time, but I thought a preface to some daily posting for the next couple of days was in order, and owed you all a bit of explanation. I also want to wish everyone a very HAPPY SUMMER 2015!

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